Birth is usually a cause for great celebration, but for parents of infants with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, it is a time of anguish. Being told that your child has been born with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome can destabilize even the most unflappable parent. The facial deformity alone is enough to break your heart and the condition is far from being only a cosmetic problem. Children with the syndrome typically suffer multiple symptoms, including cognitive impairment, seizures, and failure to thrive. If your child has been diagnosed with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, you will need first-rate legal, as well as medical, assistance.
While severe birth defects used to be unavoidable, modern science now makes prenatal diagnosis possible so that parents can choose to prevent the birth of a child whose life will be one of unmitigated misery. Tragically, however, there are cases in which negligent obstetricians do not perform proper prenatal testing or misinterpret test results. When such errors lead to wrongful birth, the doctor responsible and the facility that employs that doctor should be held accountable. This is the time to contact Nagel Rice LLP.
At Nagel Rice, our highly skilled medical malpractice attorneys have an impressive track record of obtaining hundreds of millions of dollars for our medical malpractice clients. Not only are we effective negotiators and litigators, but we are also deeply compassionate people. From our offices in Manhattan and New Jersey, we have been serving grateful clients for well over 30 years and we would like nothing better than to help you in your time of need. We know we can never remove the pain that has now become part of your family life, but we will fight with all our power to protect your financial well-being and bring you some measure of justice.
Our competent attorneys have the knowledge and experience to uncover and thoroughly investigate all pertinent medical records, interview all concerned parties, and consult with medical experts in any and all related fields. Our priority is obtaining the substantial compensation you deserve so that you can pay the enormous medical and therapeutic fees resulting from your child’s condition going forward, recoup any income you lose while taking care of your special needs offspring, and receive money to keep your damaged child and all of your family members as secure as possible.
Don’t hesitate to contact us — doing so will help restore your sense of control. And always remember that we will never charge you any attorneys’ fees until we win your case.
What causes Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome?
No one knows what causes this syndrome; it is classified as a rare genetic disorder. In the vast majority of cases, it is not hereditary but simply a rare spontaneous occurrence. The syndrome occurs when cells divide abnormally during reproduction, causing part of chromosome 4 to be deleted. For reasons that remain unknown, Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome occurs approximately twice as frequently in females.
Symptoms of Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome
The most obvious symptoms of Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome are microcephaly (an unusually small head) and abnormalities of the face, including bulging wide-set eyes, a downturned mouth, a small chin, poorly formed ears, and a cleft lip or palate. Unfortunately, there are many other symptoms of Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, including:
- Low birth weight
- Underdeveloped muscles
- Poor motor skills
- Tendency to chest infections
- Heart and kidney problems
- Failure to thrive (trouble feeding and gaining weight)
- Short stature when full-grown
- Cognitive impairment (poor communication skills)
- Seizures (may disappear with age)
- Dental problems (e.g. missing teeth)
- Mottled and/or dry skin
To a great extent, the number of symptoms is determined by how much of chromosome 4 is deleted and which of its genes are affected. Though the lifespan of an individual with Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome may be shortened by medical problems, people with this disorder are usually well able to make social connections.
How Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome Is Diagnosed Prenatally
In some cases, the obstetrician discovers physical signs of the condition during routine ultrasounds administered during the first trimester of the pregnancy. Chromosome irregularities can also appear in an expanded cell-free DNA screening.
The most definitive test for Wolf-Hirschhorn, however, is a test known as “FISH,” an acronym for “fluorescence in situ hybridization.” The FISH test successfully detects more than 95 percent of chromosome deletions. The genetic material used for a FISH test is collected during amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling (CVS).
When is your doctor considered negligent?
Your obstetrician, like all your doctors, has a duty of care to you, meaning he or she must adhere to certain medical standards in dealing with your health. These standards include prenatal screening to indicate a possible genetic problem and prenatal testing when screening indicates there may be a problem. Since a FISH test can almost always detect Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, if your doctor has failed to screen you during your pregnancy, or failed to act on questionable results of such screening by prescribing FISH testing, Nagel Rice’s savvy attorneys will probably be able to sue for medical malpractice leading to wrongful birth.
Why It Pays To Have Nagel Rice on Your Side
Though Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome is a rare disorder, occurring in only 1 in 50,000 births, if your baby is born with this horrible condition, statistics are meaningless. Unquestionably, the road ahead will be an uphill climb for your whole family, which is why you owe it to yourself to reach out to our first-rate wrongful birth attorneys. We are adept at filing and winning medical malpractice lawsuits and will fight aggressively to win you damages to cover:
- Medical and rehabilitative costs
- Loss of income
- Home healthcare
- Assistive devices
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
You and your family will be paying an excruciatingly painful price for your doctor’s negligence for a very long time. Contact Nagel Rice as soon as possible so that we can begin doing everything legally possible to ensure that the financial component of that price will be covered.